Special Programs

  • Look here for upcoming Special Events, Special Tours to join, and Special Pricing





  • A great month for gardens, celebrations, and all of our tours

November 2013

  • Bi-annual International Choral Festival. Calling all choristers and music lovers – international choirs invited. Non-competitive festival.

Photography Workshops in Cuba

Photographic Workshop

Place The workshop will take place in Santiago de Cuba. The island’s first capital, Santiago is a city of hills, lookouts, colonial squares and beautifully preserved buildings. It is a people city with much of the life of the city in the streets, the heart of the city is a park, peopled by lovers, dancers, musicians and sometime hoards of children on bicycles, scooters. This is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its distinct appearance and lifestyle.

The clarity of light blends and fractures colours, a new palette with each hour and every day. Beautiful children, neo-colonial buildings, and a vivacity to life which blends old and new, provide prolific material for the well-placed lens.

Whether you are sticking to black and white, 35mm and multiple lens, or 8 pixels this workshop will provide an intensive experience of composition, history, and techniques. Together you will discover the inside of Cuba, its history, people, and places.

This workshop is available year round. A personalize one on one experience is available as well.


Workshop Leader Rene Silviera, Photographer – Santiago de Cuba

Rene Silviera is one of Santiago de Cuba’s leading photographers. As senior photographer for the Office of the Conservador of the City of Santiago de Cuba, he knows and loves this beautiful city and its inhabitants.

Starting in television in his early 20’s he became a noted prize winner of awards for still photography starting in 1987. Since that time there has barely been a year in which he did not win awards, have his work appear in prestigious exhibitions, or in some of Cuba’s leading publications. In 2002 he was the chosen photographer for the catalogue for an exhibition of art dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Cuba’s foremost hero and poet, Jose Marti, which included 100 of Cuba’s leading artists.

Rene’s working is exciting in its clarity of vision and its use of vibrant colour. His techniques of composition and use of the special tropical light of this part of Eastern Cuba bring his images off the page. Whether he is photographing every day life, architectural details, or the natural beauty outside the city, Rene brings an affection to his subjects which invites further exploration.

Rene wants workshop participants to come to know and love his city and people through the lens of their cameras. To explore with him the possibilities of tropical light; to take home with them images of faces and places, but to leave a part of their heart in this city by the bay.



The workshop is designed for beginning and intermediate level photographers . The learning emphasis of the workshop will be on the special effect of light in tropical countries, candid photography, and photography is rapid movement situations.

This workshop has been designed for still photography. Digital imagery can be processed and examine. If you wish to take video images – please let us know and we will make some arrangements.


Day 1 – Arrival

You will be met at Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo airport or alternative arrival point and taken to your homestay in the centre of this vibrant and lovely city. After settling in, you will have time to explore your new neighbourhood and enjoy the vivid life on the streets, or just relax in the city’s central park.

Day 2 – Workshop 1

Meet the leader of your workshop and your translator. Review of the workshop, its Objectives, Content and Process.

Theory and Practice – Part 1 Tropical Light

A City Walk to explore the possibilities of the city for unique and interesting photographs.

History of Photography in Cuba – Part 1.
See the images, the photographers and explore their development


Day 3 – Workshop 2 – La Cuidad (The City)

6.00 a.m. start – your homestay will provide you with a breakfast sandwich to take with you
Architecture and urban life. The early start will put you in position for some unique photos of this city waking up. The sleepy resident reeling in the basket of bread to an upstairs apartment, the early market shoppers, the tired guards, and the laughing children on their way to school. All against a background of pastel coloured buildings, rosy dawn skies and the encircling mountains as a constant backdrop.

9.30 – breakfast

Theory and Practice – Part 2 Nature


History of Photography in Cuba – Part 2 – The Photography Club of Santiago 1940-60

Late afternoon photographing

Evening visit to the Trova


Day 4 – Workshop 3 – Nature – Flora and Fauna

7.00 a.m. start – breakfast before you leave

Visit to the world famous Fern and Orchid gardens and then explore a cloud forest with its pre-historic fern trees, brilliant flowers, birds and butterflies. Each turn in the mountain road brings new vistas. Clear flowing rivers, coffee plantations, orange and mango groves, a tiny school house perched on the very edge of the mountain, gardens, and historical properties – the stuff of wonderful photographs. Lunch among the studios of an artisan’s village.

Coastal exploration

Theory and Practice – Part 3 – Stylized and Candid – photographing people

Review of the Cuban tradition of the Quinze


Day 5 – Workshop 4 – The Quinze

7.00 a.m. start –

This whole day will be taken up with the preparations and photographs of the most important time in a young girl’s life. Like a wedding without the nuisance of a groom a quinze combines all the dreams that a nearly 15 year old can have for being the centre of attention! With professional make up and hairstyling, gowns, dresses, and sexy costumes these young women explore their new- found glamour and love every minute of it.

For the young woman selected, your photographs will be a reminder all of her days of a moment when she was young and beautiful, and life was full of possibilities. Your photographs will be seen by family, friends and neighbours for generations to come – Mi quinze is a uniquely important event in a Cuban woman’s life.

Lunch at the end of the shoot

Theory and Practice – Part 4 – Movement


Day 6 – Workshop 5 – Sports, Dance and other fast action

You will visit sports and dance in practice, stroll Santiago’s busy streets and parks, ending the day with a gala evening and some traditional Cuban African dance. – for groups of 4 or more.


Day 7 – Workshop 6

Your workshop leader will be on hand to talk about your pictures and provide feedback and solutions to problems


Free afternoon or departure from Santiago de Cuba


Day 8 – Departure.


This tour includes:

  1. Airport Pickup and transfers in Santiago de Cuba – other transfers arranged
  2. B&B style Accommodation including breakfast and dinner
  3. Workshop including workshop leader, expert lecturers for tours, translators, transportation, and lunches
  4. Entrances and photography fees at all sites visited
  5. Airconditioned transportation

This tour does not include:

  1. Flights and expenses associated with entering or leaving the country
  2. Personal expenditures
  3. Transportation prior to start or after conclusion of tour
  4. Evening entertainment except where specified Gala Evening for groups of 4 or more
  5. FILM PROCESSING NOT INCLUDED – local film processing can be obtained overnight by arrangement.


Prices and Availability

Available Anytime

2 People $1750 CANADIAN per person

4 people $1250 CANADIAN per person